RightNow Adds Product Registration to Catch Customer “Boomerangs”


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No, I don’t mean customers throwing a stick at a company because a product didn’t work. Unless the stick comes back.

The “boomerang effect,” says Danielle Wanderer, RightNow’s VP of industry and North America marketing, refers to a shift in how consumers deal with service/support issues. Used to be that the retailer was the first point of contact for help.

Now consumers want a direct path to the manufacturer. Here’s a statement from David Dentry, general manager of technical support at Nikon:

“In the past, customers would go back to their local camera store to learn how to use their camera. Now most of the larger retailers don’t do that, so consumers come to us directly and we need to be prepared to help them.”

Manufacturers have registration and warranty claims systems, but by and large these are product-centric processes, in a separate silo of automation, says Wanderer. Nikon, one of RightNow’s flagship customers, wanted to take a more customer-centric approach, and asked RightNow to make product registration an integral part of the system.

Kudos to Nikon for killing another silo and realizing that there is a real customer behind every camera that’s sold. And seizing an opportunity to start a relationship during a mundane but necessary process.

On Feb 23, RightNow’s February ’09 version added this “product registration” capability to its on-demand CRM system, as a separately charged function. Now consumers can more easily find info based on products they’ve registered, create service requests and view a list of all the stuff they’ve registered. Here’s a sample screen shot.

My take is that this announcement shows that RightNow is serious about developing a robust consumer-focused CRM system. In the past year, the company has rolled out a number of major enhancements to improve the agent experience, integrate multi-channel VOC feedback, and add sophisticated features (e.g. call scripting) designed for the largest call centers.

Despite a lot of fanfare from Salesforce.com’s “Service Cloud” announcement earlier this year, this should help RightNow maintain a leadership position with large consumer manufacturers that need industrial strength solutions.

Now, please excuse me, because I’ve got to stimulate the economy by buying one of those Nikon COOLPIX cameras to replace one that I broke on a recent trip. This time, I’ll register it and see how this new process works.

Further information:
* New Product Registration Capabilities in RightNow February ’09
* Product Registration Flash Demo


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